Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse

MA in WRD Curriculum

All students in the MA in WRD program will complete a proseminar course, exit requirement, and three courses focused on rhetoric and discourse. In addition, students may complete a concentration in Teaching Writing & Language or Professional & Technical Writing, or they may choose to take courses in any area of the curriculum.

Proseminar Course:
Near the beginning the program, students will enroll in a proseminar course (WRD 500), which provides an overview to the field of writing, rhetoric, and discourse.

Rhetoric and Discourse:
Courses in this category provide theoretical and historical insights that support student learning within more specialized courses in teaching writing and language, and professional and technical writing. In these courses, students examine rhetorical and discourse theory from the perspectives of history, identity, culture and global developments, and they attend to rhetoric and discourse through the systematic study of language and how people use it.

Exit Requirement:
Students choose from among three exit requirement options: a portfolio, a final project, or a thesis. Many students choose to create a portfolio, in which they collect original and exceptional work completed while in the program. Students interested in pursuing a particular interest in depth may complete a final project or a thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Teaching Writing & Language:
Courses in this concentration raise issues pertinent to the teaching of writing and language, college composition, ESL writing and learning, and writing program administration. Students interested in teaching and tutoring are guided to ask challenging pedagogical questions that help them to become competent and reflective post-secondary practitioners. Courses ask students to write syllabi, lesson plans, classroom materials, and academic papers. A competitive teaching apprenticeship program allows advanced students an opportunity to work as classroom teachers in DePaul's first-year writing program as they complete a graduate practicum.

Professional & Technical Writing:
Courses in this concentration prepare students to write effectively in business, non-profit and technical contexts, such as technical writing, Web writing, grant writing, and document design. Practical applications focus on the management of complex information on technical subject matter for diverse audiences while also emphasizing the utility of a critical stance toward writing technologies and workplace culture.

TESOL Certificate:
MA in WRD students may complete an optional four-course (16 quarter hours) Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate. Credits earned for the TESOL certificate also count for concentration and elective credits in the MA in WRD.